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This article is about the Sumerian god Adad also known as Ishkur. For the electronic music guide go to Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music

Adad in Akkadian and Ishkur in Sumerian are the names of the storm-god in the Babylonian-Assyrian pantheon, both usually written by the logogram dIM. The Akkadian god Adad is cognate in name and functions with northwest Semitic god Hadad.

In Akkadian Adad is also known as Ramman ("Thunderer") cognate with Aramaic Rimmon which was a byname of the Aramaic Hadad. Ramman was formerly incorrectly taken by many scholars to be an independent Babylonian god later identified with the Amorite god Hadad.

The Sumerian Ishkur appears in the list of gods found at Fara but was of far less importance than the Akkadian Adad later became, probably partly because storms and rain are scarce in southern Babylonia and agriculture there depends on irrigation instead. Also, the gods Enlil and Ninurta also had storm god features which decreased Ishkur's distinctiveness. He sometimes appears as the assistant or companion of one or the other of the two.

When Enki distributed the destinies, he made Ishkur inspector of the cosmos. In one litany Ishkur is proclaimed again and again as "great radiant bull, your name is heaven" and also called son of An, lord of Karkara; twin-brother of Enki, lord of abundance, lord who rides the storm, lion of heaven.

In other texts Adad/Ishkur is sometimes son of the moon god Nanna/Sin by Ningal and brother of Utu/Shamash and Inana/Ishtar. He is also occasionally son of Enlil.

Adad/Ishkur's consort (both in early Sumerian and later Assyrian texts) was Shala, a goddess of grain, who is also sometimes associated with the god Dagan. She was also called Gubarra in the earliest texts. The fire god Gibil (named Gerra in Akkadian) is sometimes the son of Ishkur and Shala.

Adad/Ishkur's special animal is the bull. He is naturally identified with the Anatolian storm-god Teshub. Occasionally Adad/Ishkur is identified with the god Amurru, the god of the Amorites.

The Babylonian center of Adad/Ishkur's cult was Karkara in the south, his chief temple being E. Karkara; his spouse Shala his was worshipped in a temple named E. Durku. But among the Assyrians his cult was especially developed along with his warrior aspect. From the reign of Tiglath-Pileser I (11151077 BCE), Adad had a double sanctuary in Assur which he shared with Anu. Anu is often associated with Adad in invocations. The name Adad and various alternate forms and bynames (Dadu, Bir, Dadda) are often found in the names of the Assyrian kings.

Adad/Ishkur presents two aspects in the hymns, incantations, and votive inscriptions. On the one hand he is the god who, through bringing on the rain in due season, causes the land to become fertile, and, on the other hand, the storms that he sends out bring havoc and destruction. He is pictured on monuments and cylinder seals (sometimes with a horned helmet) with the lightning and the thunderbolt (sometimes in the form of a spear), and in the hymns the sombre aspects of the god on the whole predominate. His association with the sun-god, Shamash, due to the natural combination of the two deities who alternate in the control of nature, leads to imbuing him with some of the traits belonging to a solar deity.

Shamash and Adad became in combination the gods of oracles and of divination in general. Whether the will of the gods is determined through the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal, through observing the action of oil bubbles in a basin of water or through the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, it is Shamash and Adad who, in the ritual connected with divination, are invariably invoked. Similarly in the annals and votive inscriptions of the kings, when oracles are referred to, Shamash and Adad are always named as the gods addressed, and their ordinary designation in such instances is bele biri ("lords of divination").

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Sources

Portions of this article were adapted from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ADAD, the name of the storm-god in the Babylonian-Assyrian pantheon, who is also known as Ramman ("the thunderer"). The problem involved in this double name has not yet been definitely solved. Evidence seems to favour the view that Ramman was the name current in Babylonia, whereas Adad was more common in Assyria. To judge from analogous instances of a double nomenclature, the two names revert to two different centres for the cult of a storm-god, though it must be confessed that up to the present it has been impossible to determine where these centres were. A god Hadad who was a prominent deity in ancient Syria is identical with Adad, and in view of this it is plausible to assume - for which there is also other evidence - that the name Adad represents an importation into Assyria from Aramaic districts. Whether the same is the case with Ramman, identical with Rimmon, known to us from the Old Testament as the chief deity of Damascus, is not certain though probable. On the other hand the cult of a specific storm-god in ancient Babylonia is vouched for by the occurrence of the sign Im - the "Sumerian" or ideographic writing for Adad-Ramman - as an element in proper names of the old Babylonian period. However this name may have originally been pronounced, so much is certain, - that through Aramaic influences in Babylonia and Assyria he was identified with the storm-god of the western Semites, and a trace of this influence is to be seen in the designation Amurru, also given to this god in the religious literature of Babylonia, which as an early name for Palestine and Syria describes the god as belonging to the Amorite district.

The Babylonian storm-god presents two aspects in the hymns, incantations and votive inscriptions. On the one hand he is the god who, through bringing on the rain in due season, causes the land to become fertile, and, on the other hand, the storms that he sends out bring havoc and destruction. He is pictured on monuments and seal cylinders with the lightning and the thunderbolt, and in the hymns the sombre aspects of the god on the whole predominate. His association with the sun-god, Shamash, due to the natural combination of the two deities who alternate in the control of nature, leads to imbuing him with some of the traits belonging to a solar deity. In Syria Hadad is hardly to be distinguished from a solar deity. The process of assimilation did not proceed so far in Babylonia and Assyria, but Shamash and Adad became in combination the gods of oracles and of divination in general. Whether the will of the gods is determined through the inspection of the liver of the sacrificial animal, through observing the action of oil bubbles in a basin of water or through the observation of the movements of the heavenly bodies, it is Shamash and Adad who, in the ritual connected with divination, are invariably invoked. Similarly in the annals and votive inscriptions of the kings, when oracles are referred to, Shamash and Adad are always named as the gods addressed, and their ordinary designation in such instances is bele biri, " lords of divination." The consort of 3Adad-Ramman is Shala, while as Amurru his consort is called Aschratum. (See BABYLONIAN AND ASSYRIAN RELIGION.) (M. JA.)


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